DeSales Students Present at National Biology Conference
Our undergrads did such a great job that several were mistaken for graduate students and others received offers for Ph.D. positions at other universities.
Nine research students in the natural sciences are starting the spring semester on a high note. The students spent part of their winter break attending and presenting at a national biology conference.
Dr. Joseph Leese, Dr. Joshua Slee, and Dr. Austen Barnett accompanied the students to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology’s (SICB) annual conference in Tampa.
“Whether they’re going onto graduate school or med school, having presented either a poster or a talk at a national conference really does differentiate [our students] from the rest of the applicants.”
“A lot of these science conferences usually have the professors give talks,” says Barnett. “SICB really prioritizes students giving the talks and poster presentations. So it’s a good opportunity.”
The students presented in the areas of animal behavior, developmental biology, and cell biology immunology. Five were also from DeSales’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).
Gracie Greco and Rebecca Cervantes gave talks while Veronika Tews, Claire Gogel, Samantha Mullin, Hannah Godfrey, Jaylon Hartley, and Mariana Aversa all presented posters. Nicholas Turkynak also attended.
“I wasn’t sure where to set my expectations for this,” says Leese. “They hit it out of the park. They were in talks, they asked questions of big-time scientists, they were curious, and they were professional. They really represented us well.”
Not only did the students impress Leese, Slee, and Barnett, they also got high marks from faculty at other schools. Several were mistaken for graduate students while others received offers for Ph.D. positions at other universities. According to Slee, the students’ work at the conference will help to distinguish them in the future.
“Whether they’re going onto graduate school or med school, having presented either a poster or a talk at a national conference really does differentiate them from the rest of the applicants,” he says.
The University’s natural science endowments supported the students’ research and travel expenses. During their down time, they also visited The Florida Aquarium and explored the beach at Clearwater.
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